- Albertsons has procured its first zero-emission, electric-powered Class 8 trucks for distribution, according to a press release. The two trucks, manufactured by Volvo Trucks North America, will make local deliveries in Southern California.
- The grocer made its first delivery with one of the new vehicles to an Albertsons store in Irvine, California, marking the first-ever commercial 100% zero-emission grocery delivery with a Class 8 truck
- Albertsons is touting the electric truck milestone as another example of its focus on sustainable operations.
Albertsons's new Class 8 trucks, which are classified as those weighing at least 33,000 pounds, have a 150-mile range and will make local deliveries to stores in Southern California, Fast Company reported last week. The vehicles will charge at one of the company’s distribution centers.
The new trucks also include refrigeration systems that are powered by electricity rather than diesel, according to the press release.
“We are confident that the Volvo VNR Electrics Albertsons is deploying in Southern California will enable the company to not only reduce its emissions, but to make reliable daily deliveries to its grocery stores throughout the region,” Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America, said in a statement.
Across its nationwide fleet, Albertsons operates 1,400 Class 8 trucks across, all of which are certified as meeting high sustainability and efficiency standards under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program. The grocer’s Southern California fleet includes 335 Volvo-made trucks traveling between the Central Coast and California-Mexico border.
The push into electric reflects increasing pressure on grocers and truck manufacturers to boost the efficiency and sustainability of their fleets. Companies like Volvo have been developing electric trucks for years, but producing electric batteries capable of powering long drives while also conserving weight — a key consideration for trucking firms — has proven challenging.
Daimler, the largest manufacturer of heavy trucks in the world, said last month that it plans to shift to making only zero-emission vehicles within roughly 15 years. In addition to electric-powered options, the company, along with rival Volvo, have teamed up to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells to power long-distance vehicles.
The trucks Albertsons is leasing are part of a public-private partnership spearheaded by Volvo and aimed at reducing costs for electric trucks while also boosting development. Volvo’s Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions initiative incorporates more than a dozen organizations, including the Port of Los Angeles and Southern California Edison.
In April, Albertsons announced plans to set science-based targets to reduce emissions in line with the goals outlined by the United Nations’ Paris Agreement. Efforts currently underway at the grocer include third-party tracked emissions, sourcing more renewable energy and initiating projects that cut 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020.
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the milestone Albertsons achieved with its Irvine, California, store delivery. It was the first-ever commercial 100% zero-emission grocery delivery with a Class 8 truck.